A crafty, inventive look back at the years 2000-3000 A.D. (!), surely this ranks as one of the year's most peculiar books. Veteran science-fiction writers Stableford and Langford provide a plausible, detailed ""history"" of the coming millennium. From warmongering to cosmetic surgery to philosophy to sexual kinks, every imaginable human activity receives its due. Ever fretted about when the first post-Nagasaki nuclear strike might occur? It will happen (or it happened, as this volume has it) in 2011, when Israel detonates a small device above the Libyan city of Sabha. (Pessimists take note: the arms race winds down in the 22nd century, a victim of cool heads and a cold economy.) Want to know who wins the Olympics of 2124? No one. Bioengineering becomes so commonplace that athletes are custom-tailored to fit their sport, bleeding all the fun from the Games. In compensation, by 2485 genetic tinkering also gives rise to mer people, complete with gills, flippers, an extra layer of subcutaneous fat, and other fishy attributes. Twentieth-century skeptics can examine mock-photographs of these Darryl Hannah-lookalikes paddling through the briny. Indeed, the bountiful illustrations peppered through this book boggle the eyes: a snapshot of a child frolicking outside Amundsen City, Antarctica, new headquarters of the UN; an eerie image of London half-submerged by water following the melting of the polar ice caps; a delightful ad for a ""3-V"" show on the exploits of Deathwish Hehir, a sexy adventuress of the 24th century. Throughout this imaginative romp, the authors' viewpoint remains upbeat and progressive. By 3000, humanity has overcome its self-destructive urges, conquered the stars, diversified into a number of bizarre but peacefully coexisting species, achieved extreme longevity. An exciting future, presented with panache. Bring on the fourth millennium!